Sunday, June 5, 2011

What Money Can't Buy

What Money Can't Buy, by Liz Borino. Lazy Day Publishing, ebook.

This is the second book in a series by Liz Borino. Picking up soon after Expectations left off, we find our heroes adjusting to life with pregnant women. Chris and Aiden are expecting twins... Aiden's sister is acting as their surrogate. Matt and Carley also find themselves expecting. But don't think for a moment that it is going to be smooth sailing.

Aiden finds himself with an injury that may mean the end of his dancing career, he has a lot to reconsider. Complications arise for both Meghan and Carley with their pregnancies; how will the boys handle it? Will it be too much stress for Matt? Will having their father recovering in the guest house from his stroke be too much for Chris?

All I can say is read this book and find out. If you got hooked on following Matt and Chris in the last book, you've got to see how this one turns out. Liz assures me that book three is already being written, so fans will need to keep up with the Taylors.

If you're new to this series, you're in for a treat. The author is adept at creating fully fleshed characters that make you want to invite them over for dinner. Dialogue is witty and realistic; life has changed from the city to the suburbs, and the characters are having to deal with the realities of suburban life instead of the fantasy.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about romance and relationships.

Buy the book: What Money Can't Buy

Friday, May 27, 2011

Expectations

Expectations, by Liz Borino. Published 2010 by Lazy Day Publishing, ebook.


Expectations is an entertaining read by author Liz Borino. It centers around twin brothers Chris and Matt Taylor. Chris is a photographer that finds true love with his best friend, Aiden. Matt is trying to follow in his father's footsteps, but is terribly unhappy. Their father was very hard on them, and both men have issues with him.

The book is a wonderful love story for Chris and Aiden; and in the course of finding his happiness, Matt meets a wonderful girl, Carley. As in real life, however, even though you can be very happy, nothing is smooth sailing.

Expectations is very well-written, with three-dimensional characters that you really get attached to. Luckily, this is only the first book, so you can follow their continued adventures when you've finished this one. The dialogue is realistic, and you feel as if you're part of the action.

This is a wonderful read that I urge you to pick up.

Buy the book: Expectations

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Noon God

The Noon God, by Donna Carrick. 2006. Paperback, 111 pages.


I counted scarves in a video to win this book. Not sure what made me choose this particular book from the several that Donna was offering; perhaps it was the main character's name, Desdemona. I played Desdemona once in Othello, but I digress.

Desdemona Fortune is the daughter of author J. Caesar Fortune. She is his most beloved child, but she has suffered a great deal in her life. Both her mother and sister committed suicide, and she always felt like she was the one trying to hold things together. That can be a heavy burden for a child. When her father is murdered, her world turns upside down as she manages her younger sister, a private funeral and a public one for his adoring fans. But who killed him?

The author carefully reveals the facts to us through Desdemona's eyes. While the book is rather brief compared to others, all the mystery is there. Will you guess who the murderer is? I didn't, but then, I try not to. I like the surprise I feel when the murderer is revealed at the end of a mystery. I like to be taken along for the ride rather than cast myself as the detective.

I think anyone who enjoys murder mysteries will enjoy The Noon God. The characters are well-drawn and believable. The situation is unique, yet something that could happen to anyone. It is an easy read that is perfect to take along on a short trip or to enjoy at bedtime.

Get your own copy: The Noon God

Disclosure statement: As explained above, I won this book in a contest.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Changeling


Changeling, by Morgan Gallagher. 2011, ebook.
The first vampire book I ever read was Dracula by Bram Stoker. Yes, the classic vampire tale. I found it thrilling and mesmerizing. Since then, I've managed to read a few other vampire tales, from Anne Rice's Louis and Lestat and Stephenie Meyer's Twilight to the monstrous creatures hiding among us in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files... none of them prepared me adequately for Morgan Gallagher's Changeling.

Morgan takes us to a place where vampires are cruel and sadistic. They have lost their humanity, even though they still retain their human features and social skills. In fact, one can easily see how anyone could be taken in by their charm...at first. Dreyfuss, the vamp in this book, is rich, good-looking and sophisticated. He is also a sadistic monster who really gets off on beating his victims. Just ask Joanne. She was an average woman, working at an average job, until fate paired her up with Dreyfuss. At first, she's just another meal to him. When she actually dares to fight back, he is intrigued. Who will win? Even Dreyfuss is intrigued. He begins to play with her as a cat does with a mouse. How much can she take?

The author takes you into this bizarre, horrific world as Joanne is reduced to the basics of survival. Could you survive it? She is beaten, starved, punished and trained to Dreyfuss' exact specifications. The psychological horror she endures is almost worse than the physical horror.

When she is designated as his Changeling, it gets worse. It is difficult for me not to give any spoilers, but I will resist. If you like vampire books or horror novels, give this book a try. While Dracula may be the quintessential literary vampire, he's going to have to move over for Dreyfuss. And I have a feeling the rest of the trilogy that will be forthcoming will only introduce us to more vampiric characters that will go down in literary history.

Read Changeling.

You can buy it here: Changeling (The Dreyfuss Trilogy)


Disclosure statement: I was lucky enough to edit Morgan's book and have read it numerous times while performing my editorial duties.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Shed

Shed, by Jason McIntyre, 2010, Ebook, 42 pages.


Shed is an interesting little horror novella. Simon and Rupert are two young boys that must learn to face an abusive stepfather and a horror that visits them in the basement on warm summer nights.

The reader wonders how they can ever survive it, night after night. You begin to see how strong they really are, even at their young age. Will they find a way to save themselves and their mother from the nightmare that is their lives?

McIntyre has woven an intriguing situation here. Just what is causing that unusual infestation in the basement? Why does it only occur on warm summer nights? I admit, this book gave me the creeps, in a good way. While I wouldn't want to trade places with Simon and Rupe, I was cheering for them to overcome their problems from the very beginning.

The book can stand a few minor edits, but overall, it is very well written. The author has picked a time that most of us can still remember, when families relied on the good graces of the father figure. If he was loving and kind, all went well, but if he was surly and abusive, every day was an accident waiting to happen.

If you like horror novels, or even enjoy being scared just a bit, you'll enjoy Shed.

You can find Shed at Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/20644

Disclosure statement: I won copy of this ebook in a blog contest.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blood Law

Blood Law, by Jeannie Holmes. 2010. New York, Dell, paperback, 369 pages.


Imagine a world where vampires and humans are integrated, and the vampires even have their own police officers. Alex Sabian is an enforcer with the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation, or the FBPI. She is stationed in the small town of Jefferson, Mississippi. When vampires are discovered decaptitated with stakes through their hearts, it is her job to figure out who is responsible. That alone would make an excellent story.

Now, add in the fact that her father was killed in a similar manner when she was a child, that Jefferson suddenly seems to be a hotbed of activity for the Human Separatist Movement (an organization dedicated to eradicating vampires), and the appearance of her ex-fiance being assigned to watch over her and you've got the recipe for a thrilling adventure.

I would recommend this book even if you're not a vampire fan; if you like crime dramas, you should still enjoy this book immensely. If you are a vampire fan, this world is nothing like the traditional world of Dracula nor the more modern world of Twilight. It is refreshingly new and engaging.

Holmes' writing is excellent. Her characters are well-drawn and believable. The very first page hooks the reader into the twisted world of the killer...you can't help but keep turning the pages until you reach the end.

Watch for the second installment, Blood Secrets, out later this year.

Get your own copy: Blood Law: A Novel

Disclosure statement: I won a copy of this book in a blog contest.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Side Jobs

Side Jobs, by Jim Butcher. Roc, Hardback, 2010. 432 pages.


To be honest, I dragged out this book as long as I could. I didn't want it to end because I knew that the next Dresden Files book, Ghost Story, wouldn't be ready for several more months. Nevertheless, I eventually finished this anthology of short stories.

Included are the very first Dresden story ever written, several stories that take place in between the main novels, a story from Thomas' point of view, and one from Karrin Murphy's point of view that picks up right after the end of Changes.

I can't really say if I had a favorite; Dresden is my literary chocolate, my guilty pleasure that takes me away from the troubles of everyday life so I can dive into his much more exciting troubles. Every story was another decadent look at the life of Harry Dresden. As much as I love all the stories he tells, you can almost learn more about him by seeing him through the eyes of others. The stories where Thomas and Karrin took center stage give you a completely different glimpse at everyone's favorite wizard.

If you haven't read the Dresden Files novels, get thee to a bookstore, pronto! Dresden offers action, humor and enough reality to touch you. How many books do that?

Buy your own copy: Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files


Disclosure statement: I did not receive anything to do this review. I bought the book at Amazon to complete my ever-growing Dresden Files collection.